CheLives, why'll your answering this one, can you tell me too whether parasites, bristle worms, etc. are a threat (introduced by ls) to aggressive fish?
Also, what is the formula or rough guideline for calculating how much live rock & live salt you need for an aggressive setup? does it depend somewhat on the mix of fish you intend to have?
[ May 31, 2001: Message edited by: puffdad ]
Puffdad...I'm fairly new to the salt world but I think a common rule of thumb is 2lbs of live rock per gallon (someone please correct me if I'm off the mark). As far as live sand goes opinions vary greatly, some folks swear by a deep sand bed while others say go with about 1 inch. I know I'm skating around the question but if helps, a lot of stuff I've read says 1lbs sand per gallon. I don't think the type of fish matters as much as the size and number of fish since the rock is acting as your biological filtration.
First: All tanks need biological filtration.
Second: Lr and ls are filtration methods
most often used in self-contained
Third: Lr and/or ls is not required for
fish only agressive tanks. CC
for substrate and base rock are
Fourth: If you like the look of lr you can
add a couple of pieces after the
Fifth: Lr costs between $5 and $12 per pound
vs $2 or less for base rock.
for an aggressive set up i would get about 1 lb/gal (you can get away with less if your gonna have a DSB, which i recommend) as far as the sand bed itself...save yourself alot of $ and get some southdown playsand (clear bag with red and blue on the front about $3.75/50lb bag @ HD) enough for 5"-6" sand bed. Then seed it with some LS let it cycle and SLOWLY introduce fish (i say 1 per month max.) as aggressive fish are also messy fish and you need to give you tanks bacteria time to adjust to each new inhabitant.
p.s. i will try to find the sku on that sand for you if you want as you CAN'T use just any playsand you find)
also i have a DSB in my aggressive 75 and i haven't had any problems keeping it clean. I currently have a 14" snowflake and a tiger cowrey. between the eel swimming around and the cowrey snail any leftovers from dinner are always gone the next morning and all my levels have remained the same.
Well, it's like this. In an agressive tank with FISH ONLY there is NO need for ls. You can use it though. However, cc would be just fine. I won't argue this though cuz I've seen fish live years in a cc tank with no sand. Yes ls is nice, but no it is not necessary. I'd say go with which one you think looks nicer. As for lr rock and amt's, you just need to make sure you don't put in too much rock cuz the fish need plenty of swimming space but also enough lr for cover.
Ex: If you had a 55gal (I'd say)=40 lb lr and for a 75 gal (I'd say)=55 lb lr and for a 125 gal I'd say 100 lb lr. Of course this is roughly speaking but don't put in too much nor too little. You don't need a pound or two for every gallon. HTH
A couple more questions:
Mike. Can you tell me what 'DSB' and 'sku' are? I'm kind of an idiot when it comes to BB abbreviations.
Anyone--part of my dilemma is creating an environment for a blue spot ray...not sure I want to use something as abrasive as cc, and I also need to give him plenty of room in a 300G to swim so I don't want too much rock. How do you all suggest that I solve this?
DSB=deep sand bed (5"+)
sku is the number (8 digits it think) that is assigned to various products.
the sku for southdown i believe is 518-####
sorry i don't remember the exact sku.
try posting that question (someone will know it) then call your local HD and see if they carry that sku.
as stated already, no ls/lr is not NECESSARY, but have many advantages. the ls/lr will keep your nitrates down, and the lr will provide your fish with hiding places which in turn reduces the fish's stess which in turn reduces the chance of disease.
also imho, it just looks good.
Yes, it will help keep nitrates lower. But with cc you should be able to keep them low enough anyways. I hate to sound like I don't care (or sloppy) but in my book reading and research studies reading, as well as my own microbiological understanding nitrates are NOT harmful to a fish. Yes the enthusiast wants to keep them lower (me included) but I let them rise every now and then also. It doesn't even matter (as someone stated b4) what type of fish it is. There is no proof of concentrated nitrated being harmful to a fish. This includes levels around 100ppm. Mine are not that high, but it wouldn't matter if they were. I've seen them much higher for years and fish florish in this water. Just my 2cents (and the truth this time) or what I understand the truth to be.
Tis not the event in life that bothers man, but rather his interpretation of it.
my understanding of the information i've read on the subject is that while most fish will "survive" in tank with higher nitrate levels, keeping them in a tank with cosistant levels over 80 can lead to stress which leads to disease.
Also my personal feeling is that even if higher nitrates are not bad for my fish they certainly aren't good for them, so i prefer to be on the safe side (just in case)...
just my 2cents,
the amount of rock and sand you have depends on what you want or what you are gonna keep. surprised some of you are giving this guy generalaites when you don't know what he was gonna keep in his tank. sharks and rays should not have lots of and sometimes no rock in their tank. and live sand, sugar sized sand is the way to go. the ray will be your sand stirrer. most of the sharks lay/sit on the bottom and rock will only impede them from sitting in spots on the floor of the aquarium. and rays need to bury themselves constantly and therefore need sugar sized sand NOT CC.